A Senate panel on Thursday unanimously
recommended the nomination of Michael Walter Fitzgerald to the
federal bench, gay weekly The
Washington Blade reported.
President Barack Obama nominated
Fitzgerald to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California in July – Obama's fourth openly gay judicial nominee to
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest gay rights advocate, cheered the move.
“Moving Michael Fitzgerald's
nomination to the Senate floor is a positive step toward confirming a
dedicated legal talent,” said HRC spokesman Michael Cole-Schwartz.
“We urge the full Senate to confirm him and help make the bench
more representative of the diversity of the American public.”
According to the Blade, the
Senate, which is facing a backlog of judicial nominees, is unlikely
to take up the Fitzgerald nomination any time soon.
California Senator Barbara Boxer, who
recommended Fitzgerald to the president, praised the development.
“I am so pleased that the Senate
Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Michael Fitzgerald's
nomination to serve on the federal bench,” she said. “It is now
critical that the Senate move swiftly to confirm him so he can begin
serving the people of the Central District.”